• Did WordPress remove the “keep linebreaks” paste option? (A bleg)

    WordPress just updated to version 3.9 and the only substantial change I noticed was how it handles pasting as text (no formatting) or from a Word document. I haven’t experimented with the latter, but the former seems broken. I’m annoyed, as best I can tell I’m the first person on the internet to flag this, and I want help.

    Before the update, when one clicked on the text paste button, one got a popup like the one shown below. In the upper right corner was a “keep linebreaks” checkbox. Toggle it off and click “insert” and your text drops into your draft post without any line breaks. That keep/remove line breaks functionality is gone in version 3.9, as far as I can tell. Am I wrong? How can I get it back without reverting to the prior WordPress version?


    Why does this matter? Well, removing line breaks is (was) super handy, particularly when cutting and pasting from a PDF document, which never has line breaks where you want them. It’s the difference between this:

    An example paste

    from a PDF document

    with line breaks that one

    would rather not have.

    and this

    An example paste from a PDF document with[out] line breaks that one would rather not have.

    Obviously it’s no big deal to delete three line breaks. But if you’re pasting in 20, 30, 50, 100 lines of text, one would rather avoid all that manual labor that a computer could (used to) do just fine.

    WordPress, what did you do? Why? Can anyone help? (Comments open for one week from date of this post.)

    Image credit: John Saddington

    UPDATE: Here’s an online tool that removes line breaks. There are others. Google “text editor remove line breaks” (no quotes) or similar and you’ll find them.


    • Have you tried using notepad as an intermediary?

      • Microsoft Notepad? No. But I did think about a two-step process. It’d be worth it for long blocks of text. I’d probably try emacs though. Still, I want the old WordPress function back.

        • I’m afraid I’m not terribly much use on the WP end. I’ve never had a problem copying and pasting from Word and am unfamiliar with the toggle you refer to. But when I have problems with copying, pasting, and formatting,

          If I get some time, I’ll tinker with WordPress and see if I can reproduce the problem.

        • Okay, I found the checkbox you refer to. It’s on the window that pops up when you click on the “Paste from Word” button, right?

          I may know of another way around it. In the “Add New Post” screen, on the right atop the main text area (where you write the post) there ought to be an option for Visual and another for Text. If you’re on Visual, switch over to Text. Then paste what you want, then switch back.

          It could be the reason I don’t experience the problem you’re referring to is that I am always in Text. If you are in Visual, then the rules are different. When I paste from a word document in Visual mode, it adds the line breaks (unless I tell it not to). However, if I paste it in Text mode, it doesn’t add the line breaks.

          So if you are in Visual Mode, you can switch to text mode, paste it, then switch back. Probably. If you’re already in Text mode or if that doesn’t work, then I am stumped.

    • I’m with Austin on this!

      I frequently cut and paste content from pdf documents into WordPress sites. The checkbox to “Keep linebreaks” or remove them was something I used on a regular basis. Yes, it is possible to work around it, but it was SO convenient to have that pop-up box option.

      While it will require an additional step, the “Textfixer” tool will probably become a NEW best friend!

      Thanks for the post Austin. It’s good to know I’m not the ONLY one lamenting this change, although it may well be for the best if it helps to avoid confusing the average WordPress users, including all of my website design clients!